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Five Finalists Announced in the Running for Teacher of the Year Award


Credit to Alex Rowe

PLTW Biomedical teacher Dawn Hawn accepts the award of Teacher of the Year on Jan. 10, 2018.

By Joel Boenitz, Gabe Lobato, Gavin Atkinson, and Della Boenitz

On Monday, Jan. 7, the finalists for the 2019 FHN Teacher of the Year award were announced to the student body for the first time. The teachers nominated this year are Math teacher Tim Besse, AP Psychology teacher Sean Fowler, FACS teacher Marissa Heyer, Social Studies teacher Mike Parker and English teacher Amy Stoker.

“First of all being nominated is nice, especially this year,” Fowler said. “I’ve been nominated before, but this year I think it’s a bit more special, because you had an opportunity for the students who actually see what I do and actually know what I do in the classroom, so this year was a lot more gratifying than before.”

This is the first year that students have been allowed to nominate teachers for this prestigious award. In the previous years, only the teachers were allowed to nominate based off of how they viewed their fellow colleagues. However, students were able to state their case for the teacher they wanted, while the teachers narrowed down the nominations to the finalists. For Fowler, a long time critic of the nomination system, he couldn’t have been happier for the change.

“I think the inclusion of student’s nominations are fantastic,” Fowler said. “Even when I nominated other teachers in the past, what I know about my peers, I know about them mostly through students other than the ones I work directly with as a coach, what I know about them is through my students, so it didn’t make sense to me that students were not a part of the process. I like this change going forward. It even opens up for more teachers to get nominated, so maybe some teachers that are more quiet with faculty would have the opportunity to be recognized by their students.”

The date that the final result will be announced is currently unknown. However, one thing that is for certain is that the change in the nomination system has helped improve upon the community here at FHN.

“I feel like this is just another example of how the community is being built up at North,” Stoker said. “Everything is getting more student driven and the teachers here have always been students first, but now you see it in every aspect of everything in the building.”